Archives for June 2010

Nine Lives? How About 19?!

See the gal in the middle? That’s Don’s mom — otherwise known by all in our family as our Energizer Bunny. She just keeps going and going, even in the face of the worst odds. You’ve heard of someone having nine lives. With Mom it’s more like 19!

We took the photo above during Kelli’s bridal shower weekend, 9 days before Mom’s latest life-threatening crisis descended upon us. She went into the hospital with some upper body swelling and a urinary tract infection (very serious for someone in renal failure) on Memorial Day, but as the week went on, the swelling got worse and worse. By week’s end, we knew what we were dealing with — a massive blood clot clear across her chest, down both arms, and up one side of her neck. (Even this photo shows that her face and neck were fuller than usual, but at the time we didn’t think much of it.)

The doc told us the outlook was grim and transferred her by ambulance to a nearby town where a cardiologist would perform a procedure to try to dissolve the clot (using catheters, he would place a drip directly on the clot to try to dissolve it over a period of hours/days). When I spoke with the him right before the procedure, he didn’t hold out much hope. Too many possible complications in the hours and days following the procedure. I assured him that we realized it might not turn out well, but I also told him how this little lady has surprised us (and the medical world!) again and again. He said, “Well, I hope she surprises this time…”

The procedure went smoothly, and about four hours later as planned, they took her back in so he could check the progress of the clot before sending her on to critical care where they would monitor her. He came back with a report no one expected. “It’s gone. The clot is gone. She won’t have to go to critical care. She can go back to the regular floor.”

Stunned and shaking my head in disbelief, I asked, “Is this amazing or what?!” He answered, “It’s huge.” All the complications (besides the renal failure) that threatened her life dissolved as the clot dissolved. Instead of calling family members with what I feared would be bad news, I called with news of a miracle. Talk about giddy. I could barely contain my laughter as I relayed the news. Our Energizer Bunny had done it again. Or more accurately — God did it again. He granted her more time in this world once more.

And now, she’s back in her assisted living home, trying to gain strength after this most recent crisis. Yes, her kidney function took a hit during the past couple of weeks and is even worse than her normal “bad”, but we are hopeful that things will level out again. Of course, we realize that someday in the future, things will not go so well. But for now, we’re praising and thanking God for yet another miracle. For yet one more life for our Energizer Bunny. Thanks for all the prayers!!

“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” Psalm 66:5

*Please continue to pray for Don’s mom. She is extremely weak and not eating well. We’re not sure how long she can stay out of the hospital at this rate…

**Photo above includes our girls with their guys – Kelli & Jake on the left, Kristin & Shawn on the right.

Adding Color — A Beauty Bonus

I love my parents’ yard and forested property behind their home and enjoyed spending time this past Memorial weekend soaking up the beauty of it. Can you see the splash of color on the far side of my dad’s garden? The picture doesn’t do it justice, but the vibrant red of the poppies he’d planted added the perfect brightening touch to the lush greens of the garden, the yard, and the woods beyond.

The area exudes beauty all on its own, but planning for and adding color to the scene blesses onlookers with a beauty bonus — a cherry on top, so to speak. Something that sparks a little extra thrill. Something that makes us pause in wonder. Something that makes us thank God for the beauty of His creation.

I wonder if there are scenes in our own lives that need a splash of color to brighten them up or to bless onlookers with a beauty bonus. Maybe it’s as simple as planting a few flowers in our own yards or displaying a fresh bouquet indoors, but we might need something entirely different.

If our lives are feeling a little dull, a little “same ole, same ole”, what can we do to make things more vibrant, to spark a little extra thrill? Maybe we can take up a new hobby or interest or undertake a challenge we’ve been avoiding. How about cultivating a new friendship or rekindling one that we’ve neglected? It might be time to volunteer somewhere, take on a new ministry, or go on a mission trip. Any number of things can add the perfect brightening touch to our lives — lives that undoubtedly already hold great beauty if we’ll give them a fresh look.

Sometimes we even need to add some color to our spiritual and devotional lives. If you’re like me, it’s easy to fall into a rut and approach my time with God in the same way all the time. What can we do to add color to our time with Him? If we make the effort, I bet onlookers will be blessed with a beauty bonus as our lives reflect our fresh walk with God.

What do you say? Let’s add some color!

“He put a new song in my mouth…” Psalm 40:3a

*My photo

*Update: Don’s mom developed very serious complications and had to be moved to a hospital in a neighboring city today. I wrote this post yesterday so had it ready to go. Probably won’t be able to keep up with regular posts for awhile but will try to update when I can. I’ll thank you in advance for all your prayers — so appreciate you all!

A Hint of Things To Come

Guess what’s in the bag?! Here’s a clue — it’s a hint of things to come. It’s the bridal gown! Yay!!

After an unplanned delay the day Kelli and I went to T-town to pick up said gown, Don and I finally brought it home last week. And none to soon. Kelli’s bridal portrait session was yesterday — in yet another town. This MOB gets around, huh?! :)

I wish I could give you a real peek at the gown or at one of the pics I snapped yesterday, but we all know the bride’s appearance has to be kept a secret until the big day arrives. But I can tell you this — she’s going to be gorgeous! I can’t wait to see the results of the photo shoot! And I can’t wait to share pics after the wedding! And yes, I know I’ve used way too many exclamation points in this post :)

Getting the dress and having the photo shoot truly does hint at things to come. It’s all really going to happen! My baby is going to be getting married next month! Pretty exciting, isn’t it?

As exciting as the thought of our upcoming celebration is, there’s another event on the horizon that makes ours pale in comparison. We as the church, as the bride of Christ, should be making ourselves ready for His appearance. He has promised to come again — and it’s all really going to happen!

The Word of God gives us some signs to watch for when the time for Christ’s return is drawing near. Have you seen any lately? Have you noticed the hints of things to come? Even though we may have some rough waters to tread before He arrives, the end result is pretty exciting, isn’t it? Join me in a shout of praise! Offer some exclamation points with me!!! :)

“…’Nation will rise against nation…There will be great earthquakes and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven… they will lay hands on you and persecute you…

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.'” Luke 21: 10-12;25-28

*Don’s mom had to go back into the hospital this week with a U.T. infection (can be serious for someone in renal failure). Please pray for a quick recovery for her — and for me to keep my sanity during these busy weeks before the wedding! Not the best time for extra responsibility…